Three South Asians Among the 2017-2018 Harvard Business School Leadership Fellows

The 2017-18 Leadership Fellows Photo: Justin Saglio

BOSTON—The Leadership Fellows Program at Harvard Business School has named three South Asians among its 2017-2018 Harvard Business School Leadership Fellows program. They are: Hrithik Bansal, Pia Gugnani and Ishan Shrestha.

The Leadership Fellows Program is based on HBS Professor Michael Porter’s vision of developing a network of HBS graduates with cross-sector experience who are committed to addressing societal issues throughout their careers. The Fellowship is a two-way commitment in which graduating students are offered once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to experience high-impact management positions in nonprofit and public sector organizations for one year at a competitive salary. At the same time, the hiring organizations leverage the experience, energy, and strategic and analytical skills of MBAs in roles that produce immediate results and build long-term capacity.

Since its inception in 2001, the Leadership Fellows Program has placed 190 Fellows at organizations such as the City of Boston Mayor’s Office, Harlem Children’s Zone, Mercy Corps, World Wildlife Fund, and the U.S. Department of Education.

The 2017-18 Leadership Fellows
Photo: Justin Saglio

“The HBS Leadership Fellows Program provides our newly-minted MBAs with an unparalleled opportunity to partner with senior leaders in the public and social sectors to tackle some of society’s toughest challenges,” notes Matt Segneri (MBA 2010), Director of the HBS Social Enterprise Initiative. Segneri spent his own Leadership Fellows year in the City of Boston Mayor’s Office and continued his career in social enterprise at Bloomberg Philanthropies before returning to HBS.

Whether Fellows stay on with their sponsoring organizations, move to another social enterprise, or enter the private sector, past participants agree that the Leadership Fellows Program is critical to their ongoing development as leaders who make a difference in the world.

“This is the opportunity I came to HBS to find,” said Andrew Cone (MBA 2017), who will be working with the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City.

“It’s a rare gift to be able to have such an impact this early in my career, and I’m looking forward to the challenge,” said Verdell Walker, who will be working with Sesame Workshop.

The 2017-2018 HBS Leadership Fellows will be taking on issues in Boston and the broader US. They will be working in a wide array of fields, including arts and culture, education, government, health care, and international development.

They are as follows:

Hrithik Bansal, BRAC USA

Smitha Boyd, Massachusetts Office of Information Technology

Ophelia Chua, American Ballet Theatre

Andrew Cone, Whitney Museum of American Art

Margo Cramer, City of Boston, Department of Neighborhood Development

Tian Feng, United Nations World Food Programme

Sherri Geng, Harlem Children’s Zone

Steven Greene, City of Boston Mayor’s Office

Pia Gugnani, Boston Children’s Hospital

Ben Luxenberg, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

Mark Margiotta, MassHealth

Katie Rae Mulvey, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation

Ishan Shrestha, MassHealth

Justin Smith, United Nations World Food Programme

Henry Tsai, City of San Jose, Office of Mayor

Verdell Walker, Sesame Workshop

Aaron Whittemore, MBTA.


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